Liu hails signing of bill to finally reduce class sizes in NYC public schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 8, 2022
: Soojin Choi | | 347-556-6335


Bayside, NY- NYS Senator John Liu, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on NYC Education and sponsor of S9460, applauds Governor Kathy Hochul’s signing of the bill to reduce class sizes over a five-year period in New York City public schools. Class sizes in all New York City public schools would be capped at 20 students in kindergarten through third grade; 23 students in fourth through eighth grade; and 25 students in high school. The five-year phase-in requires 20% of NYC classes to comply with the limitations by school year 2023-2024, with additional 20% each year until 100% of NYC classes are in compliance by school year 2027-2028.

This legislation addresses the continued failure of the NYC Department of Education to reduce class sizes that are significantly larger than the rest of the state and nation. State courts have long ruled that NYC kids had been denied the sound basic education guaranteed by the State Constitution in large part because of excessive class sizes. The State Budget beginning in April 2023 provides NYC with an additional $1.6 billion in annual school funding that must be used to provide the constitutionally-required sound basic education, which necessarily includes reducing class sizes down to thresholds set by the NYC Department of Education themselves.

Senator Liu said “New York City school kids have been denied a sound basic education for too long. This legislation forces the Department of Education to at long last develop a 5-year plan to bring class sizes down to levels originally established by the DOE itself instead of merely paying lip service to the problem. Moreover, the City is receiving $1.6 billion more state funding annually toward this purpose, and must stop with nonsensical rhetoric claiming ‘unfunded mandate’ and just get stuff done! Thanks to Governor Hochul, NYC school kids will now get what they are entitled to.”